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Job Title Mechanical Beamline Technician / Senior Mechanical Beamline Technician
Job Reference 018/18/TH
Post Type Full Time / Permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information £25,499 to £29,999 (Discretionary range to £34,499) or £32,805 to £38,593 (Discretionary range to £44,382)
Application deadline 11/03/2018

Job Description

There are two vacancies for mechanical technicians to work on beamlines within the Surface Science village. One position is available on Beamline I05, a state of the art facility for studying the detailed electronic structure of materials including superconductors or two-dimensional materials such as graphene. It consists two branch beamlines with fully equipped ultrahigh vacuum end stations containing an extensive suite of surface science instrumentation. The end stations include sample growth and preparation facilities as well as cryogenic (liquid Helium) sample manipulators allowing micron and sub-micron positioning capabilities combined with large rotation ranges.

The second position is based on beamline B07, where the science focus is on studying materials under gas pressures up to 50 mbar. These studies are relevant to many areas including improved understanding of catalysts, atmospheric chemistry, pharmaceuticals or for cultural heritage. The beamline has two branches to focus on this ambient pressure work but also to provide a high throughput facility for additional studies under vacuum.

The beamlines operate international user programs, with guest users from Europe, Asia and the USA as well as the UK. Both positions require a good knowledge of ultrahigh vacuum chambers including assembly of components for use inside the chamber. The I05 position would also suit somebody with cryogenics experience whilst the B07 position would benefit someone with specialist gas handling experience.

The main duty of the Mechanical Beamline Technician/Senior Mechanical Beamline Technician is to support the scientists and technical support groups associated with the beamline during beamline maintenance, commissioning and operations. The technician will help maintain the equipment already existing on the beamline, and will work with the beamline scientists and engineers in designing and installing new beamline equipment as part of upgrades. The individual will also help users to carry out experiments on both branches of the beamline, machining small pieces of equipment such as sample holders, and integrating ancillary equipment into the experimental areas. You will need to ensure that all beamline work is carried out in a safe manner, and that the equipment is appropriately integrated and installed. Due to the operational needs of the beamline for investigating atomically clean surfaces in ultrahigh vacuum, the successful candidate will be required to maintain a clean and tidy working environment. 

Expected activities are:

  • Maintenance, development and upgrading existing beamline components such as monochromators, mirrors, slits and experimental hutch equipment;
  • Assisting in installation and commissioning of further specialist beamline equipment;
  • Assisting users in technical aspects of carrying out experiments;
  • Integrating ancillary equipment into the experimental area;
  • Ensuring that all beamline work is carried out safely and using the correct processes such as ATW, PTW; carrying out regular safety inspections. When required, appropriate PPE equipment required;
  • Using the peripheral laboratory equipment/workshop for preparation of user experiments;
  • General laboratory work including some electrical cabling, design and build of simple mechanical devices;
  • Provide advice and occasional installation support to fellow technicians in the Surface and Interface Science village;
  • Maintenance of a clean and tidy working environment.

In addition for the senior level:

  • Design and build of new equipment/developments and technical assistance for subsystems of the science equipment such as sample environments that provide high/low temperature and other environments;
  • Supervise and coordinate the installation and commissioning of further specialist beamline equipment;
  • Train users in the mechanical operation of the ultrahigh vacuum, in particular ultra-high vacuum sample transfers and review their feed-back for continued improvements of the systems.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Ability to understand and interpret mechanical drawings;
  • Ability to carry out a variety of light mechanical and electrical assembly tasks;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good planning and organising skills;
  • Good communication skills, verbal and written;
  • Ability to interact with people at all levels, effective team player;
  • Significant relevant work experience;
  • You should have proven experience in at least one of the following areas: ultra high vacuum, cryogenics, high temperatures, magnetic fields and/or high pressures, specialist gases, cooling water; (demonstrable experience for appointment at senior level);
  • Significant technical experience;
  • ONC or GNVQ level 2 (Applicants with equivalent work experience will also be considered);
  • Some travel may be required, usually within the UK and with occasional overnight stays;
  • Candidates must be available to work flexibly when there will be periods of intense activity to meet deadlines.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Good IT skills - standard MS Office software;
  • Able to produce simple engineering drawings;
  • Experience with chilled water, compressed air, domestic water;
  • Experiences of using cranes and slings etc. for heavy lifting;
  • Familiarity with using quality assurance procedures, work planning and safe systems of work (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience of Technical Support in a synchrotron or equivalent facility (essential for appointment at senior level).

For appointment at the senior level:

  • Experience in line-management

Further Information

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

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